A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Hollow Point Lyrics

Dividenz is a rap duo consisting of C.O.L.A. and Notes. Their first album is called Hollow Point Lyrics, and it came out in 2003 on D-Sane’s Street Level Records. Notes brandishes a bullet on the album cover artwork, while C.O.L.A. holds an umbrella. Skuntdunanna helps to fire up the party, dropping a punchline-filled verse on the album’s first cut, “It’s All Official.” “Too Much” featuring Bullet is one of my favorites on the album for its simple, gangstery beat and Nate Dogg-ish vocals on the hook sung by Jazz.

“Million $ Mouthpiece” features Seattle rap legend Byrdie, who had dropped his solo debut Poetic Epidemic two years prior in 2001, also on Street Level. Although the beat is catchy and smooth, the lyrics fall into the rap-about-rap trap, which limits the content of the track to solipsistic musing about being an MC. There are happy exceptions however, “I’m rollin by señoritas, yelling mama mia, they dream like they got shot with anesthesia,” raps Byrdie.

Fans of Hall & Oates may appreciate “We Don’t…” which interpolates H&O’s 1981 classic “I Can’t Go For That.” “I never been a sucker, I’m just a young hustler trying to have the world spinning in my hand,” goes a nice line from “We Don’t…” Overall, Hollow Point Lyrics is a solid debut. Six years later in 2009, the group would drop a second Street Level album, 10% Rap 90% Hustle. Written by Novocaine132

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

North West Ridin'

Mr. D.O.G. is a Tacoma rap artist who made his debut in 1997 with his EP Gettin Paid. Similar to E-40, D.O.G.’s style bounces the tone of his delivery from low to falsetto, all over the vocal register. Then in 1998 his first full album Wet was released, featuring the hit “Aquaman.” 2000 saw Mr. D.O.G.’s first vinyl release on a split twelve-inch single with Playboy Bleek. His label was called Bow Wow Records, and in 2002, D.O.G. and partner BWR 2000 put together this CD compilation of various hip hop artists from Seattle, Tacoma, and Portland.

“Aquaman II” by Mr. D.O.G. is the first song on North West Ridin’, and the beat is a slinky, g-funk interpolation of “Bad” by LL Cool J. Smooth-voiced rapper K-Swiss keeps the tempo lazy and the content mellow and light with “Just Hustlin.” Portland’s Cool Nutz joins on “NW Game,” with lyrics about hustling and thugging. “I never could take seeing my bread rise slow,” is a nice metaphor from Cool Nutz. My ear found the peppery guitar picking in the “U Aint Done Shit” beat to be quite enjoyable. “I Gets Paper (Remix)” features California rap legend Ras Kass on a verse. Samples from the movie Boyz In The Hood sprinkled throughout “Blow Ya Brainz” by Mak Mahd enhance the violent mood of the track.

My favorite song on North West Ridin’ is “I Ain’t Feeling That,” by Funk Daddy and E-Dawg. It contains a line that sounds dated but was actually quite futuristic, “You wanna battle? I really don’t have time. How bout I jump in a limo, grab the laptop, and we do it online.” Remember, Myspace didn’t launch until 2003, and Facebook appeared in 2004. North West Ridin’ is a good look at some turn-of-the-millennium rap from the upper West Coast. At the end of “We G’z” the MC asks, “Who said there wasn’t no gangsters up north?” Who indeed? Written by Novocaine132

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